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The Brothers Lionheart

Otherwise how could I continue to be your secret Tengilman in Cherry Valley?”

You won’t be secret all that much longer, I thought. For here’s one person who will expose you, so that you’ll turn pale, you red-cheeked wretch, you!

But then he said something else, something that made my heart lurch.

“Have you caught Jonathan Lionheart, yet? Or is he still free in Wild Rose Valley?”

Veder and Kader didn’t like the question, I could see. “We’re on his tracks,” said Veder. “A hundred men are searching for him day and night.”

“And we’ll find him even if we have to search every single house in Wild Rose Valley,” said Kader. “Tengil is waiting for him.”

“I can understand that,” said Jossi. “Young Lionheart is more dangerous than anyone else, I’ve told you that. For he is truly a lion.”

I felt proud as I lay there that Jonathan was such a lion, and what a comfort it was to know that he was alive. But I wept with rage when I realized what Jossi had done. He had betrayed Jonathan. Only Jossi could have found out about Jonathan's secret journey to Wild Rose Valley and sent a message about it to Tengil. It was Jossi’s fault that a hundred men were now searching day and night for my brother and would hand him over to Tengil if they found him.

But he was alive, all the same; he was alive! And he was free too, so why had he called out in my dream? I wondered as I lay there, whether I would ever know.

But I learned a lot of other things by lying there listening to Jossi.

“That Hubert, he’s envious of Sofia because we’ve chosen her as our leader in Cherry Valley,” said Jossi. “Because Hubert thinks he’s best at everything.”

Oh, that was why! I remembered how angry Hubert had sounded that time when he had asked, “What’s so special about Sofia?” So it was because he was envious, not for any other reason. You can be envious and still be a good man at the same time. But I had gotten it into my head from the start that Hubert was Cherry Valley’s traitor, and everything he had done and said since, I had managed to fit in with that.

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Category: United States folktales
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